Posts Tagged ‘school district wind turbine’

Understand Net Metering for Home Wind Turbines and Solar

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

small wind turbine residential windmillWe get so many calls at WindEnergy7 from folks who want to install a wind system. One of the top things that customers say is, “I want to save on utility bills and and maybe make some money” So, at WindEnergy7 we try to make this happen for our customers. There are several factors to consider and calculate to see what your wind project can do, financially. Local Utility and State Net Metering policy is one factor that you have to find out about and understand.

Grid-Tie or On-Grid – A term used for energy systems that are connected to the normal utility system of a home or business. With a grid-tie system your system becomes an extension of your existing utility supply. Thus if it is not running, a windmill on a still day, or a solar panel at night, you still have electricity flowing through your meter from the electrical utility, same as normal, meter running forward. In case of any downtime or maintenance of your systems you will not be without power.



In reverse, a Grid-Tied or On-Grid system will be generating more electrical power than you use, example a windy night with all lights and household appliances are off, your meter actually running backward as you generate clean electricity to the grid that will be used by neighbors and others on the grid.

Grid-Tie-Wind-Turbine-System residential windmill

Net Metering – is the electricity policy for consumers who own wind or solar power generation systems. Net metering is the rules of your state and utility company combined. These rules vary by state AND utility provider, some better than others, thus it has much to do with the ROI (return on investment) of your system. The ideal has your existing electricity meter spinning backwards, effectively banking excess electricity production for future credit. The rules dictate if and how long you can keep your banked credits, how much the credits are worth (retail/wholesale), etc.

Net Metering is generally a consumer-based renewable energy incentive. While it is important to have Net Metering available for any consumer that interconnects their renewable generator to the grid, this form of renewable incentive places the burdens of pioneering renewable energy primarily upon fragmented consumers.

Net Metering Law – In the U.S.A., as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, under Sec. 1251, all public electric utilities are now required to make available upon request net metering to their customers.

‘‘(11) NET METERING.—Each electric utility shall make available upon request net metering service to any electric consumer that the electric utility serves. For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘net metering service’ means service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by that electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period.

Part of the homework that a customer needs to do is:

(1) Look at their Net Metering for state and their utility company here.

(2) Look at their bill for cost per kwH (kilowatt hour), compare to net metering information. Need to know your cost per kwH to calculate savings & ROI (return on investment).

(3) Look at their local wind map, need 11mph or better average to be successful, zone 2 or higher on DOE Wind Maps by State.

(4) Look at your site, do you have room for a turbine, usually an acre or more is best. Recently there have been urban residential installs. So, it’s possible to put one in a suburban or urban neighborhood but takes more negotiating with zoning, code enforcement and others. Most small wind turbines are put into farm-ranch lots of an acre or more.

Now, I have many customers and projects and get customers who call and just want this done easy. Many want more consultation and have questions. No problem at all, we try to provide very complete kits, information, and the service you require.

We can help you prove, plan, and execute your personal wind project or develop your wind energy plans. If you are interested in starting a wind project for your residence or acreage, contact us. To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.

Reconditioned Turbine, Remanufactured Wind Turbine

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

School wind projects and community wind projects are considered medium sized requirements.  So, costs are important and quick return on investment more important.

For most of these wind projects that I am working on I am quoting and recommending remanufactured & refurbished turbines for wind farms.

The question of remanufactured turbines comes up in most every new wind power project. Using the reconditioned wind turbines, or remanufactured wind turbines, the cost to fund a project and get installation are much lower and therefore makes more sense.  Frankly, it can be the difference in making a project make sense or not.

Normal Questions Asked Are:

(1) What’s difference n Remanufactured and Reconditioned Turbine?

(1) What is Projected Life of the Turbines being quoted/installed.

(2) Efficiency, we only work with best models, successful turbines.

(3) What are Operation and Maintenance Costs

(4) What is Installed Cost per Kilowatt

Reconditioned Turbine – a wind turbine where the condition of each of the main components are evaluated, then repaired or upgraded as needed. The turbines from have been carefully de-installed in good working condition to make room for larger wind turbines.  This creates a nice cost effective inventory of wind turbines for smaller school and community wind projects. These turbines can be reinstalled with minimal upgrade, depending on their condition and how long it’s been since they were de-installed. Our reconditioned turbines are available for reinstall and are already reconditioned when we sell them for a community wind project.

Remanufactured Turbines – The main moving components of these turbines have been re-manufactured to new or better than new standards, very thorough. The controls, gearbox, hub, generator, hydraulic system are all thoroughly remanufactured and restored.  The most experienced turbine mechanics evaluate the condition of the remanufactured turbine.  These turbines get delivered with a full technical reporting of the remanufacturing processes and as a result, they come with warranty periods.

Used Turbines – Sometimes referred to as raw turbines.  This is a turbine sold in “as is” condition. I never recommend or get involved with the sale of a used, as-is turbine because of the risk involved.  And I carefully advise anyone, before you buy any remanufactured or reconditioned wind turbines, please allow me and my suppliers to show you what we can do, competitively before you buy reconditioned or remanufactured trbines anywhere.

Cost of remanufactured and reconditioned turbines can vary. Again, please allow to help you out here. We really prefer to quote these as fully Installed cost.  This is better so we can be sure you are happy in the end. The installed cost includes the foundation, tower, turbine, electrical interface, wiring, engineering, program management and all components necessary to make the turbine a functioning/generating unit.  We will be glad to work with whatever team you have in place, but if you haven’t aligned all these services, let us help.

Remanufactured/Reconditioned Wind Turbines vs. New:

Remanufactured turbine cost for 40kW to 600kW class turbine, usually in range of $1,000 per kW. 

Cost of New turbines in this size/class, 40kW to 600kW, usually in the range of $1,700 per kW.

Compare to Utility sized new turbines, sizes from 1,500 kW to 3,500 kW = around $3,800 kW.

At a dramatically lower cost than the new turbine, the ROI (return on investment) of our remanufactured/reconditioned wind turbines is SO MUCH FASTER . So, your project is simply more successful as a financial endeavor, repaying loan costs at a quicker pace.

With ability to provide same warranty and have the remanufacturing or refurbishing done by the best mechanics and most experienced people i this industry, your  ongoing operation and maintenance costs will be similar.

Supply & Demand – If you have a project, or a proposed project, please email me immediately and begin discussion.  The new turbine supply is overloaded right now.  There are many manufacturers with contracts that cannot be fulfilled for a couple of years out.  Due to number of current projects, we do prefer email comminication is best, contact us at:

If you are interested in starting a wind project for your residence or acreage, contact us. To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.

Iowa, Eldora-New Providence School wind turbine in 2002!

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

In Iowa, the Eldora-New Providence Schoolput in their 750kW NEG Micon wind turbine. The superintendent, Bill Grove reported that he expects the school to save $10,000 to $20,000 in addition to paying it’s loan payments over a 10 year loan period. As soon as the turbine is paid off, the school’s savings could increase tenfold. The turbine is expected to produce approximately 1.5 million kWh per year. Since the school uses a little less than 1 million kWh, it expects the excess power to bring income to use for educational programs.


Others expect the project to pay for itself in approximately seven years. Analysis indicates the school can expect to earn a return on its investment of 13%. The electricity from the wind turbine is considered “inflation proof,” so if the cost of electricity rises, thus do the economic benefits from making such a smart decision.

The financing these schools receive includes some income from a federal program called the Renewable Energy Production Incentive (REPI).  The REPI was designed for incentive, so public entities that are not eligible for the federal wind energy production tax credit can still get help for wind energy. Payments from REPI are uncertain, however, because the fund relies on annual Congressional appropriations. The economics of a wind project is a great price for the electricity the turbine produces.

In most of the successful school wind projects, the local utility “net meters” the output.  With net metering, in months when the turbine produces more than the school uses, that excess value is banked with the utility to offset bills when the school needs more than the turbine produces. But, only Iowa and Ohio currently allow net metering without a size limitation on the turbine. MidAmerican Utility in Iowa has successfully applied to the Iowa Utilities Board to limit the capacity for net metering in its service territory to 500-kW, and other utilities are following suit. In lieu of net metering for large turbines, higher buy-back rates for non-profit entities could be a solution.

Six schools in Iowa have wind turbines in operation near their campuses: Sentral School in Fenton has a 65-kW Windmatic turbine, Nevada High School in Story County has one 250-kW Wind World turbine; Clay Central/Everly Community School District in Royal has a 95-kW turbine; Akron-Westfield installed a 600-kW Vestas turbine in 1999; and Clarion-Goldfield High School in Wright County installed a 50-kW AOC turbine in 2002.

If you are interested in starting a wind project for your acreage, school district, or local government, contact us at WindEnergy7.

To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.

Iowa, Forest City School has Wind Turbine since 1999!

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

The Forest City Community School has a 600-kilowatt wind turbine. The project was financed through a combination of a loan from the Iowa Energy Center’s Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program and a low-interest loan from the local bank.forest-city-iowa-school-wind-turbine

Dwight Pierson, the Superintendant said “When we got started, no grant monies were available for a wind project. We understood we’d have to finance it, so we spent seven or eight months looking at the figures”. “We really felt it could pay for itself and become an asset for the district. At the time, we had one of the only turbines around that was totally financed, all through conventional loans.”

A Federal Renewable Energy Production Incentive of 1.5 cents per kilowatthour was recieved by the school. Including the incentive, the turbine has generated $284,000 (more than 4.7 million kilowatthours) worth of electricity between January 1999, when it became operational, and February 2004.

“Installing the turbine was a bold decision for our board to make,” Pierson says, “but its decision was made on good input, and the cost investment penciled out.”

At Forest City’s School it was a student who had the idea to install a wind turbine. A student in Ron Kvale’s physics class, Paul Smith, became interested in wind energy. The stdent measured the winds around the school finding that the land might be a viable site for a turbine. Smith and his teacher presented this to the school board, the board liked it. The school conducted an energy audit, that helped reduce the school’s energy use so less of the wind turbine’s electricity would be wasted.

Pierson speaks of the Forest City School wind project with pride. “This has been a win-win for our community, a real asset,” he said. “And we actually underestimated how much of an asset it would be.”

To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.

Wray School District of Colorado, Wind Turbines

Friday, July 11th, 2008

/wray-colorado-school-wind-turbineOver the past five years the Wray School District has experienced countless highs and lows in the process of completing the wind turbine project.  The wind turbine is going through its final adjustments to go online.wray-colorado-school-wind-turbine

The small district spends approximately $80,000 a year on electricity. Our Wray High School Vo-Ag instructor, Jay Clapper, proposed to the district that it consider the construction of a wind turbine. This project would offset the district’s annual energy costs and provide a renewable energy educational component to the school’s curriculum.  The Board of Education agreed to support this idea, and a wind committee, including Mr. Clapper and a number of interested Wray citizens, was formed.

In December, the Wray School District Board of Education voted to approve the purchase of a 900 KW wind turbine. This project will be built on land recently purchased by the City of Wray and located south of Wray on Highway 385 near County Road JJ. The City of Wray and the Board of Education have partnered together through a power purchase agreement to see this project become a reality. It’s a Grid-Tie system, so the renewable energy captured from this wind turbine project will flow into the city grid for consumer use.wray-colorado-school-wind-turbine

When the group started the Wray School Wind Project nobody knew how complicated the process was going to be. They stuck it out, the City of Wray will have the green power generated by the turbine.  The “flip the switch” ceremony was, two months ago. Since then they’ve been troubleshooting the equipment, making final adjustments, passing mandated inspections and becoming familiar with the network of equipment and personnel that will provide technical support to this new turbine.

The blades turn evenly in the wind, but only by the perseverance of school personnel and community support does this thing work. By providing an environmentally safe source of power to this community, the visionary leaders added financial support to the education of their students. They have eased a tax burden, enhanced education, and improved their environment, that’s leadership.wray-colorado-school-wind-turbine-

wray-colorado-school-wind-turbineNow, here to the right is where it ties to the grid.  Not real dramatic is it?  I love it when a good plan comes together.  Congratulations to the Wray School District and all the great leaders who performed this project.  Nice work folks.wray-colorado-school-wind-turbine

If you are interested in starting a wind project for your residence or acreage, contact us. To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.

Ballinger Texas School District Wind Power Project

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Ballinger Independent School District’s is progressing with the 2007 CREBs proposed community wind project for the construction of Mitsubishi 250 turbines to power the schools electrical needs.

The Texas school district in Ballinger prepared and submitted applications for federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) in 2007.  Ballinger was awarded the equivalent of about 1 million dollars (or 750 KW) in bond sales.  CREBs legislation requires the first bond payment be made by the end of 2008, thus construction continues this summer.ballinger texas school wind energy project

Ballinger’s superintendent Scott Goen met with the wires company which services the Ballinger district, AEP, on February the 19th 2007 to discuss power sale options. 

The plans are to construct three community wind sized turbines at the end of the high school campus’s soccer fields.  These 250-KW Mitsubishi turbines are remanufactured, which means that since previous operation they underwent significant overhauls, such as generator rewinding, gearbox rebuilding, hub re-surfacing, new controls and rebuilt hydraulics. 

Ballinger ISD is enhancing the district financial stability by establishing the district’s ability to generate its own power.  Ballinger ISD plans to offset district energy costs with behind the meter interconnection.

To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.


School District Makes Profits from Wind Power

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Beginning in the year 2007, when both turbines are paid for, the Spirit Lake Community Schools district will have about $120,000 tax free income from the clean, renewable northwest Iowa wind to use to improve education for the children of the Spirit Lake Community School District.wind energy school district
The visionary leaders at Spirit Lake Community Schools began studying the use of wind as a renewable source of energy for the district in September of 1991. Early in the study a partnership was formed with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
In the following year, data was collected to:
>- Measure the wind speed on the proposed site
>- Analyze the districts electrical costs
>- Get acquainted with wind turbine manufacturing
>- Understand both federal and state rules and regulations
>- Study existing wind turbine sites
The study revealed a strong indication of total investment return in 8.5 years.

Once the vision was established, Spirit Lake Community Schools applied for a grant from the Department of Energy for three turbines; one each for the elementary, middle and high school. The high school was rejected because of the cost of the conversion necessary to switch from a different electrical phase. The middle school was rejected because the DOE does not fund new buildings. In December 1992, the elementary school received a grant for $119,000 for one turbine to supply electrical energy.

Specifications for the wind turbine were prepared and three bids were received in the spring of 1993. The successful bidder was Minnesota Wind Power of Marshall, Minnesota with a bid to provide and install one wind generator at a cost of $239,500.

To offset the additional cost not covered by the DOE grant, the project was funded by a low interest loan through the Energy Council of the Department of Natural Resources.
Payoff Comes Swiftly

On July 22, 1993, the wind turbine on the lawn of the Spirit Lake Elementary School began producing electricity. Ninety months later, the school’s turbine had produced 1,570,000 kilowatt hours of electricity which would have cost the district $124,900. This is enough electricity for 264 average Spirit Lake homes for a year. In addition to providing all of the electricity for the 53,000 square foot elementary school, it also produced a reimbursement from the utility company of almost $25,000.

The final payment for the loan on turbine was made during 1998, 3.5 years ahead of schedule. Today the almost $25,000 savings go to the school’s instructional program.

How Wind Energy Works

The props turn whenever there is wind. It generates electricity after the generator turns at 1790 rpm, which requires a wind of around 7.5 mph at the 140 foot level.

The system is being monitored constantly in several ways. The primary method is by computer from the office of the district’s Director of Buildings and Grounds, Mr. Jim Tirevold. The computer monitors wind speed, electricity being produced in real time for the day, in addition to cumulative totals.

As of July 1, 2004, the turbine has generated on average 312,309 kWh of electricity annually. To generate an equivalent amount of electricity, it would take 549 barrels of oil or 156 tons of coal. It would take 285 trees to absorb the carbon dioxide emitted by this oil or coal.

There is no storage capacity. During peak demand and /or low winds the district purchases electricity from Alliant Energy and during excess production, Alliant Energy purchases electricity from the school. The district utilizes net billing. Currently, if the district uses less than what is produced Alliant will purchase the excess energy for 6.02 cents. If the district uses more than produced, Alliant sells to us for 8.5 cents.

Farming the Wind

In addition to its excellent financial success, the school’s wind turbine has been used in school classes as an educational tool and it has made a significant contribution to the environment. The district has had over 400 visitors since that warm day in July of 1993 when the turbine began producing. A number of schools in the area and their students have shown particular interest in the project as they study the use of renewable sources of energy.

A Second Turbine is Added

Once it was established that the wind turbine had indeed been a great success and asset to the district, plans went quickly into effect for the second turbine. On October 29, 2001, the NEG Micon 750 KWH tubular tower turbine became operational and was well on its way to providing power for the entire school district.

The NEG Micon has an anticipated life span of 30 years. It stands 25 feet taller than the original turbine on a 165-foot base. The wingspan is almost double the size of the Windworld turbine at 157 feet in diameter compared to 87 feet. The size of the rotor diameter is approximately that of the wing space of a DC-10 jumbo jet, and it is designed to withstand hurricane type wind speeds of 131 mph. The new turbine will not only provide energy for all of the remaining school facilities and athletic fields, but also an additional educational resource for Spirit Lake students.

The district borrowed $780,00 to complete the installation of the turbine, and anticipates a 6 V2 year pay back period. The energy bills offset each year equal approximately $118,000, which can be used for other district programs after the 6 V2 year period is complete. The financing of the turbine included a $250,000 no-interest loan from the Iowa Energy Center and a $580,000 Iowa Department of Natural Energy loan from a commercial bank with interest at 5.1%.

To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.

School District in Illinois purchasing wind turbines?

Friday, July 4th, 2008

This Illinois School District is considering the purchase wind turbines.  In Popular Grove Illinois, The North Boone Community Unit School District is seriously considering wind turbines for rural campus.  The district has been studying wind energy as a way to reduce its energy costs.

Ward says turbines would serve an educational purpose and save the district tens of thousands on energy costs.  Students could study wind power and learn about renewable energy. Wind turbines and alternative sources of energy are very relevant to students today.illinois school wind energy windmill

Don Ward, the school board president has found that one to three wind turbines can generate electricity to power the district’s four buildings.  Many school districts in Illinois have already installed wind turbines, North Boone is hoping to follow suit as well as many other Illinois schools. Ward says the installation of wind turbines can cut the districts energy costs and utilize renewable energy.

In a rural area just north of Poplar Grove, the schools lie in a good location for wind turbines.  Since the campus isn’t in a suburban area or city, Ward said wind turbines would be able to work well because they would be placed in a setting capable of producing viable wind power.

The strongest winds blow from September to June aligning with the school year calendar. Though wind turbines are expensive — a large one costs anywhere from $1.5 to $2 million while smaller ones cost upwards of $250,000 — Ward said they have a seven-year payback on the district’s investment and would save the district thousands of dollars each year in energy costs. The district currently spends $150,000 a year on electricity. Wind turbines generally have a 20-30 year life span making them a quick payback and good investment financially.

At an annual conference of school board members in Chicago the shool district heard about others investing in wind energy.  At this conference, many schools in Illinois gave presentations on their wind turbines, this started the school board thinking turbines would be a good investment for the district.

To Buy a Wind Turbine or Become a Dealer, Please fill out our Contact Form. The system will automatically send you some additional info.